Copyright (c) Timothy E. Clontz 1999 All rights reserved.

The First Letter of Peter

1
  1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the chosen exiles in the Dispersion, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling with his blood: may grace and peace be yours in abundance.
  3 Blessed be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has caused us to be born again into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, kept in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by God's power through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 as you obtain the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
  10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you inquired and searched carefully, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven-things into which angels long to look.
  13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, be sober in spirit, set your hope fully on the grace to be given you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16 because it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."
  17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your exile on earth. 18 You know that you were redeemed from the futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you have confidence in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
  22 Since you have purified your souls by obedience to the truth for a sincere love of the brethren, love one another earnestly from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,
  "All flesh is like grass,
    and all its glory like the flower of grass.
  The grass withers,
    and the flower falls,
25  but the word of the Lord stands forever."
And this is the word which was preached to you.

2
  1 Therefore, put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 Like newborn babes, long for the pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 for you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. 4 As you come to him, the living Stone- rejected by men but chosen and precious in the sight of God-5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in scripture:
  "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone,
    a cornerstone chosen and precious,
  and he who believes in him will not be put to shame."
7 To you therefore who believe, this is precious, but for those who do not believe,
  "The very stone which the builders rejected
    has become the chief cornerstone,"
8 and,
  "A stone that causes men to stumble
    and a rock that makes them fall;" they stumble because they disobey the word-as they were desstined to do.
  9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
10  Once you were not a people,
    but now you are the people of God;
  once you had not received mercy,
    but now you have received mercy.
  11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against your soul. 12 Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles, so that in case they speak against you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
  13 Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right. 15 For it is God's will that by doing right you should silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a covering for evil; live as servants of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
  18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are overbearing. 19 For a man is approved if, mindful of God, he bears up under pain while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it, if when you do wrong and are beaten for it you patiently endure? But if when you do right and suffer for it you patiently endure, you have favor with God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
22  "He committed no sin,
    and no deceit was found in his mouth;"
23 when he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he uttered no threats, but he trusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

3
  1 You wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see your chaste and respectful behavior. 3 Your adornment must not be merely outward-braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on fine clothing; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in God's sight. 5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, and were submissive to their own husbands; 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children if you do what is right and are not frightened by any fear.
  7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with honor as the weaker partner, since you are joint heirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
  8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble in spirit. 9 Do not return evil for evil or insult for insult, but give a blessing instead; for to this you were called, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
  "He who would love life
    and see good days
  must keep his tongue from evil
    and his lips from speaking deceit.
11  He must turn away from evil and do good;
    he must seek peace and pursue it.
12  For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are open to their prayer,
  but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
  13 Who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and respect; 16 and keep a clear conscience, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing right, if that should be God's will, than for doing wrong. 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly did not obey, when the patience of God waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21 And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you-not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience-through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels and authorities and powers subject to him.

4
  1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human lusts, but for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry. 4 In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they abuse you; 5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this reason the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they might live in the spirit according to the will of God.
  7 The end of all things is near; therefore be clear minded and sober for your prayers. 8 Above all, hold unfailing your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of God's varied grace. 11 Whoever speaks is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belongs the glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
  12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a wrongdoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 yet if one suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but under that name let him glorify God. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And
  "if it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
    what will become of the godless man and the sinner?"
19 Therefore, let those who suffer according to God's will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator.

5
  1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ and a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed, 2 shepherd the flock of God that is under your care, serving as overseers-not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3 not as lording it over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
  5 Likewise you that are younger men be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for
  "God opposes the proud,
    but gives grace to the humble."
  6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.
  8 Be sober, be alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you. 11 To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
  12 With the help of Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. 13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.